Determining which cities are the most peaceful places to live in America is not an exact science. After all, one persons peace is another persons noise. For example, some may consider a place without cell phones as peaceful, while others may find peace lounging under a large tree texting. For others, a peaceful place to live might be one that is economically sound, has good schools and fun activities. That being said, we’ve done our very best to collate cities that can appeal to everyone in our list of the most peaceful places to live in America.
20. Des Moines, Iowa
When all you’re concerned about is noise, then Des Moines Iowa may be what the doctor ordered. Considered one of the top 5 quietest cities in America. Des Moines also scores a 41.85 on WalletHub. This is a great city if you’re into outdoor activities, starting a business, or simply want to live in a place with good people. People enjoy spending time at Exile Brewing, Gray’s Lake Park and the Pappajohn Sculpture Park.
19. Buffalo, New York
Buffalo, New York appears on Bustle’s list of least stressful cities but that’s not the only reason we’re placing it on our list. It also places in the CBS News list of cities least likely to be hit by natural disasters. In other words, for those of you looking for a good spot to nest, who also get nervous at the thought of a natural disaster striking your property, then Buffalo, New York may be worth considering. The winters may be tough, but the summers are very nice. Places residents love to explore include the Pearl Street Grill and Brewery, Rust Belt Books and the Mark Twain Room located in the Buffalo Public Library.
18. Durham, North Carolina
If you’re searching for a peaceful place to live in the U.S. with regards to retirement, but aren’t really a fan of Hawaii, Florida or California lifestyles, then Durham, North Carolina may be more suitable. Indeed, Durham is the place to reside for those interested in cultural and learning. Here, Duke University offers residents a lifelong learning program. Durham is also affordable, has plenty of golf courses and a top notch health care system. You can also take a walk through the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, visit the Museum of Life and Science, or have fun at the Duke Lemur Center.
17. Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu Hawaii lives up to its reputation of an exciting, yet peaceful city. Case in point, retiree’s flock to Honolulu for those very reasons. Bursting with enjoyable things to do, such as water sports or simply kicking back on the beach. Visitors and residents can take a laid back stroll in Hanauma Bay Nature preserve, sun themselves on Waikiki Beach, visit Pearl Harbor National Memorial, or enjoy the soothing sounds of the Manoa Falls. Lawnstarter lists Honolulu as one of the more relaxed cities, based on its history of mental, physical and financial health and work environment.
16. Boulder, Colorado
The fact that Boulder, Colorado is well-known as a center for marijuana is only one reason that people consider it one of the more relaxed cities in the nation. According to INC, Boulder also has excellent working conditions, healthcare and is a great place for entrepreneurs to establish themselves. Another point is its winter sports facilities. If skiing, skating and cross-country skiing are on your list of activities, then you’ll have more than you can handle in Boulder.
15. Irvine, California
When you do a search for quiet or peaceful places to live in the U.S., there’s a good chance you’ll see Irvine California on the list. Located in Orange County, this town is known to have one of the lowest crime rates in America. Areavibes gives it an A+ with total crime 45 percent below the national average, violent crime 83 percent below national average and property crime below 38 percent. Irvine is devoted to family life. Divorces are on the low side, and many of the attractions such as Pretend City Children’s Museum, the Spectrum Center, and Tanaka Farms are designed for family outings.
14. San Diego, California
San Diego California is one of the best known cities when it comes to relaxation and stress-free living. It’s temperate climate is often praised by residents and tourists alike. Add to that, it’s seaside location, good health care, and employment, and you have a first class city to visit reside or retire. Those of you looking for a culturally rich city which includes The famous San Diego Zoo, as well as it’s famed downtown district, will find this a suitable place.
13. San Jose, California
Business Insider places San Jose on it’s list of one of the happiest cities in America. Part of the reason may be because San Jose is known by many as the capital of Silicon Valley, where workers are reportedly treated to above average working conditions. Residents can enjoy a variety of activities such as visiting the Municipal Rose Garden, the Winchester Mystery House, the Tech Interactive Museum, and Los Gatos Creek Trail.
12. Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Due to the efforts of Cedar Rapids Affordable Housing Commission, this city is known for providing some of the most affordable housing in the country. Ranked at 26 in Business Insiders list of happiest cities, residents can take advantage not only of low housing costs, but also attractions such as the Czech Village/New Bohemia District, the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, or the Indian Creek Nature Center.
11. Plano, Texas
You can find Plano, Texas near it’s neighbor, Dallas. Whereas Dallas is seen as a stressful city, Plano is anything but. Here, tourists and residents alike enjoy the “bigness” of Texas without the hassle. For instance, a relaxing stroll through historic downtown Plano may just be what the doctor ordered. Similarly, you can take a low-key stroll through Plano’s Arbor Hills Nature Preserve or the Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve. For those of you looking to snag some deals, consider paying Legacy West a visit. Legacy West plays host to a great variety of shops, eateries and entertainment spots.
10. Fremont, California
Fremont California comes in with a stress-free score of 38.28. Here, you’ll find that family life is good, with low divorce rates. Poverty is also on the low end. Fremont is a gorgeous city, especially for those into the arts. Education, climate and ethnic diversity help to give this city a stellar reputation. While standard of living is higher than most cities, Fremont makes up for it by offering residents sufficient job opportunities, especially in the field of high tech. Attractions include Coyote Hills Regional Park, Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area, and the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum.
9. South Burlington, Vermont
South Burlington is a friendly, easy going college town. If you’re looking for a city that gives off a great vibe, full of youth and exuberance, then this may be for you. A solid working class town, sources of employment are good and the people friendly. Those who find nature restful will be happy to know that South Burlington is filled with green spaces such as Red Rocks Park and Overlook Park. With a WalletHub stress-free score of 37.80, work, financial, family and health/safety stressors are low.
8. Madison, Wisconsin
Livability has Madison, Wisconsin listed as the third best places to live. The capital of Wisconsin is known for it’s relaxed atmosphere and friendly community and social scene. When there, you can take a relaxed trek through their famous Olbrich Botanical Gardens, visit the University of Wisconsin-Madison arboretum, enjoy fresh produce at their Farmer’s Market, or get a taste of their art scene by visiting the Chazen Museum of Art. As it’s a University town, you can expect to see quite a few students and young families engaged in city functions, shopping and restaurants. You can also take a ghost tour or take part in one of their many scavenger hunts.
7. Bismarck, North Dakota
With a population of around 73,000 one thing is for certain, that Bismark North Dakota is sure to see those numbers increase in the near future. Bismark is becoming known as a city that caters to family life, is affordable with good job security. Residents are kind and generous, and the city has a good healthcare system, schools and attractions. Plenty of outdoor activities are also on the menu, which include the General Sibley Park and Campground, McDowell Dam Nature Park, and the Superslide Amusement park for fun loving kids and adults.
6. Overland Park, Kansas
Another city you’ll frequently see on lists involving the most peaceful places to live in the U.S. is Overland Park, Kansas. Overland is a relatively secure community with total crime 13 percent below the national average, violent crime 40 percent below the national average and property crime 9 percent. Residents are free to enjoy many activities such as visiting the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, Overland Park Farmers Market, or the Indian Creek Greenway.
5. Fargo, North Dakota
Anyone whose seen the movie, “Fargo” already is keen to realize that it does have some harsh winters. However, residents don’t seem to mind as this is one of the least stressful cities, according to WalletHub. This city has a small town feel to it that’s absolutely charming. One of its big pulls, is its affordability, bubbling economy and low unemployment. Attractions include the Fargo Air Museum, Drekker Brewing Company, and Thunder Road Amusement Park.
4. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Sioux Falls, South Dakota is one of those cities you’ll see time and time again when searching for the most peaceful places to live in the U.S. For instance, it ranks as the third best city, as well as ranking number 10 on the Livability scale. So, as you can see, this city has a lot going for it, a lot to recommend it. Residents often spend their free time at Falls Park, The Butterfly House and Aquarium, or the Sioux Falls Bike Trails, to name a few. The people of Sioux Falls are known for their warmth and kindness, helping to give this big city a small town atmosphere.
3. Boise, Idaho
Boise Idaho is not the first city one may think of as being a peaceful, secure and all-around happy place to live, but it most certainly is. For instance, Business Insider placed Boise on it’s list of some of the happiest cities in the U.S. In general, Boise is affordable, has a low crime rate, and good employment. You can take a relaxed walk through the famed Idaho Botanical Gardens, enjoy winter sports at the Bogus Basin Mountain recreation area, or pay your respects at the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial.
2. Lincoln, Nebraska
The cream of the crop, when it comes to peaceful cities is Lincoln, Nebraska. In other words, when variables such as work, financial, family and health stress are measured, are significantly lower than cities in the rest of the nation. Known as one of the most recession-proof cities in America, the capital of Nebraska also boasts a number of laid back activities for locals to enjoy. They can visit their favorite coffee shop, The Foundry, or take in a crisp, robust craft beer at the Boiler Brewing Company. Infrastructure is sound, and community engagement is positive. They also have art walks for those who are more culturally minded.
1. Green Banks, West Virginia
While it’s true that determining the most peaceful places to live depends on personal preferences, there is one town that definitely is the most peaceful place in America, and that’s Green Banks, West Virginia. It’s so peaceful and laid back, that they don’t even allow cell phones within city limits! Not only are cell phones banned, but any other such mobile device. This is THE place if you want to “get away from it all”. The reason for all this quiet? It’s all for research, the National Radio Quiet Zone to be exact. Here scientists study the universe, and for their studies need all the quiet they can get.